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Kenneth L. Knight and David O. Draper

Column-editor : David O. Draper

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Tim Speicher and David O. Draper

Column-editor : David O. Draper

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David O. Draper and Michael B. Anderson

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David O. Draper, J. Chris Castel, and Dawn Castel

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David O. Draper and Cynthia Trowbridge

Column-editor : Jeff Allen

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Michael B. Anderson and Dennis Eggett

Column-editor : David O. Draper

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Mack D Rubley, Jody B Brucker, Kenneth L Knight, Mark D Ricard, and David O Draper

Objective:

To determine the retention of flexibility 25 days after 5 days of three 30-second stretches.

Design:

A 2 × 4 repeated-measures factorial. Treatment and time were independent variables. The dependent variable was flexibility as measured by a sit-and-reach box.

Measurements:

33 college students were tested before and after stretching for 5 consecutive days and without stretching on days 8 and 30. Control subjects were prone for 15 minutes; stretch subjects received 15 min of diathermy or sham diathermy and then performed three 30-second standing right-hamstring stretches.

Results:

Flexibility was greater on days 5, 8, and 30 than day 1, but days 5, 8, and 30 were not different from each other.

Conclusion:

Gains in flexibility are retained for at least 3 weeks after a stretching program. It also appears that 2 sets of 3 repetitions of a sit-and-reach test is sufficient stimulus to induce long-term flexibility gains.

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Matthew K. Seeley, Iain Hunter, Thomas Bateman, Adam Roggia, Brad J. Larson, and David O. Draper

Context:

A novel spring-loaded-crutch design may provide patients additional forward velocity, relative to traditional axillary crutches; however, this idea has not yet been evaluated.

Objective:

To quantify elastic potential energy stored by spring-loaded crutches during crutch–ground contact and determine whether this energy increases forward velocity for patients during crutch ambulation. Because elastic potential energy is likely stored by the spring-loaded crutch during ambulation, the authors hypothesized that subjects would exhibit greater peak instantaneous forward velocity during crutch–ground contact and increased preferred ambulation speed during spring-loaded-crutch ambulation, relative to traditional-crutch ambulation.

Design:

Within-subject.

Setting:

Biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

10 healthy men and 10 healthy women.

Interventions:

The independent variable was crutch type: Subjects used spring-loaded and traditional axillary crutches to ambulate at standardized and preferred speeds.

Main Outcome Measures:

The primary dependent variables were peak instantaneous forward velocity and preferred ambulation speed; these variables were quantified using high-speed videography and an optoelectronic timing device, respectively. Between-crutches differences for the dependent variables were evaluated using paired t tests (α = .05). Elastic potential energy stored by the spring-loaded crutches during crutch–ground contact was also quantified via videography.

Results:

Peak forward velocity during crutch–ground contact was 5% greater (P < .001) for spring-loaded-crutch ambulation than for traditional-crutch ambulation. Preferred ambulation speed, however, did not significantly differ (P = .538) between crutch types. The spring-loaded crutches stored an average of 2.50 ± 1.96 J of elastic potential energy during crutch–ground contact.

Conclusions:

The spring-loaded crutches appear to have provided subjects with additional peak instantaneous forward velocity. This increased velocity, however, was relatively small and did not increase preferred ambulation speed.

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William R. Holcomb

Column-editor : David O. Draper

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Noah J. Wasielewski and Linda R. Jones

Column-editor : David O. Draper